The Blind Beggar
Beggars are a nuisance at any time: they are always there when you don’t want them to be, obstructing your path and thrusting their alms bowls into your face. They usually come at you in a swarm, like flies congregating on cow dung: the blind, the deaf, the physically disabled and the-plain-just-beggars – and the pretenders who put on a Nollywood winning act to convince you there’s something wrong with them when there isn’t. Overwhelmed, you fight them off and send them on their way.
You are often too angry at their aggressiveness to show any compassion: they believe it’s their right to beg for alms and your obligation to give. So you brush them aside.
I was in a charitable mood when this old blind beggar tottered up to me. He was bent with age, his face wizen and his skin shrivelled. His eyes were long gone and flies danced on his cataracts. The white cornea of his eyes reminded me of a ghost. Sores covered his arms and legs and his protruding bones suggested he hadn’t had a proper meal in a very long time. His clothes were all tattered and old. He was skeletal, finding his way around with a stick and crying out for alms in a very pitiful voice.
I fumbled in the cavernous confines of my bag looking for some money to give him, pulling out phone, make-up bag and other what-nots.
“You have nice Iphone Madam”, he mumbled, forgetting his act.